Perfectionism in Tennis and Fear of Failure

How Does Perfectionism Effect Success?

Perfectionism in tennis and fear of failure are closely linked.

In this video I discuss:

How perfectionism and fear of failure can hurt young athletes success and enjoyment in sports.

Learn how perfectionism affects young athletes’ practice and their mindset in competition.

Tennis parents can learn how kids’ mental games misfire from fear of failure.

Kids’ with fear of failure focus too much on not making mistakes and get tense on the court.

Visit my other website at Peak Performance Sports for other sports psychology videos.

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Tennis Confidence is a complete mental training program developed Peak Performance Sports. You learn the same strategies Dr. Cohn teaches his tennis players to help them improve mental toughness and consistency – from managing unrealistic expectations to coping with perfectionism.

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15 thoughts on “Perfectionism in Tennis and Fear of Failure”

  1. So key what you discuss here. As a child psychologist specializing in perfectionism, OCD, anxiety and negative thinking, I know that kids need to learn to change their understanding of “failure” and then their self-talk will change as a result. It’s about lowering the stakes in their mind, not lowering the standards.

    I write about the issues of failure and perfectionism in my new book, Freeing Your Child from Negative Thinking: Powerful, Practical Strategies to Build a LIfetime of Resilience, Flexibility and Happiness. Not surprisingly, in the chapter about managing failure, disappointment and losing, many of my examples and quotes are from athletes— sports provides a great model for the rest of us.

    To look at an excerpt, please go to

  2. Please keep me updated with fear of failure in tennis, perfectionism in tennis, sports psychology for tennis, tennis perfectionists, tennis psychology

  3. Hi,
    I am a Squash Coach from Cambridge England.
    The fear of failure issues you discuss are common amongst talented, competitive Junior Squash players.
    It would be interesting to read your views on how to overcome “fear of failure in Perfectionist players.


  4. HI,
    I am a young tennis player and i have a big, big problem .I have fear of failure and i avoid to play with weaker players and weaker contests.I am 14 years old and I’m the second in my country and 50 in T.E ranking . And the second problem is that i play good at training and after i finish the training , when i don’t play , i think that i don’t hit the ball. This is my big problem , when i don’t play i think that i don’t hit the ball .. and i play stupid . PLS HELP ME . Pls give me an advice .

  5. sorry , i am again Daniel , and i think that my problem with i don’t hit the ball is linked with fear of losing respect of others and fear of others judgements.

  6. Daniel: You have to play for yourself instead of trying to impress others or worry about what others think. Set your own goals for the match and think about what you want to accomplish.

  7. This is exactly what my child is experiencing on the court. It has been an issue for years, and only seems to get worse. It’s amazing how a person can be so very, very talented, yet the mind just sabbotages the entire game in competition. It seems like a long road to overcome this mindset.

  8. Yes, perfectionists in tennis must learn how to stop doing things that sabotage their performance. But they have to realize they have issues first, before they can change.

    Patrick Cohn

  9. My name is Katarina. I am 13 years old and have been playing for 2 years only. Like you said, i am not able to take my practice shots into my tournaments. I get really anxious and i do almost all of the things that you described in this video. I lose to people who’s shot are not even nearly as hard or clean as mine. Do you have any tips to help me bring out my true shots in tournaments or matches? thank you.

  10. The key is to trust what you already have learned. This means not holding back for fear of missing shots or losing.

  11. Very interesting video but I would like to understand how we, as parents, can help our perfectionist tennis players (or how they can help themselves). Thank you very much.

  12. Hi, I will like to buy the book “sport’s parent top dilemma: helping young athletes kick perfectionism and fear of failure.” Where can I find it? I can find it online.
    Thank you

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